12/04/14 9:18am

Earlier this year we partnered with UncommonGoods to launch the Brooklyn Flag Project. We challenged design-minded folks from all over the borough to create a flag reflecting their neighborhood, with the promise that the top three would be produced for sale by UncommonGoods. Along with former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Tina Roth Eisenberg–the graphic designer known as @SwissMiss, and UncommonGoods founder David Bolotsky, we helped winnow down a fantastic field of entries to eight finalists.

UncommonGoods awarded cash prizes to the top three winners, but decided not to produce the flags for sale after all–they told us that they had hoped to see flags from a wider variety of neighborhoods, though we thought the entries from East New York, Bay Ridge, Flatbush, Coney Island and Ditmas Park nicely rounded out the multiple flags designed for Greenpoint and Fort Greene–locales that lots of graphic designers call home. Even if you can’t buy one of these to hang from your fire escape, we think it’s worth taking a peek at the winners. And, as a bonus, we’ve added in our favorite entry that didn’t win (we’re suckers for a squirrel).

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10/21/14 11:00am
Squash and turnip pierogies at Korzo come filled with either wild mushrooms or herbed sheep's cheese. Photo: Jillian Capewell

Squash and turnip pierogies at Korzo come filled with either wild mushrooms or herbed sheep’s cheese. Photo: Jillian Capewell

It arrives earlier and with more abundance each year—pumpkin-spice season. Flavoring everything, from cookies, to cream cheese, to local beer, to much-maligned-as-of-late pumpkin spice lattes that have become a sure sign of sweater-weather, pumpkin, the faker the better it seems, has become shorthand for fall.

While we love actual pumpkin, in soup, curry, pie and even ice cream, like Hay Rosie’s Pumpkinapalooza, the focus on its most sickeningly sweet iteration, amidst the bounty of fall fruits and vegetables, is culinary tunnel vision. Here’s a whole menu of pumpkin spice-free, but fall-ready flavors from around Brooklyn. (more…)

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02/07/14 9:07am

Dorchester Road is packed withbeautiful home. Photo: Peggy Truong

Dorchester Road is lined with beautiful homes. Photo: Peggy Truong

When you arrive in Ditmas Park, it’s pretty easy to forget all of your worries–and the fact that you’re in Brooklyn and can get to midtown Manhattan on a train in 30 minutes or less. Driveways, front yards and porches suddenly feel wonderful and out of place at the same time.

Since moving to the neighborhood about four weeks ago, I’ve basked in the glory of streets lined with Victorian houses, the sweet smells of baked goods and the hustle, bustle and charm of residents, old and new.

Built in the early 20th century, Ditmas Park’s gigantic Victorian homes are real estate porn for lovers of Colonial Revivals, Queen Annes, Tudors and Japanese designs, to name a few. Spend a few minutes on Albemarle Road and feel transported to another city, another time period. Served by the very reliable B and Q trains, Ditmas Park runs approximately (depending on who you ask) from Church Avenue to Avenue H, and Coney Island Avenue to Bedford Avenue, surrounded by Prospect Park South, Flatbush, Midwood and Kensington.

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Since I’m a comparative newbie, I spoke to Ditmas Park Corner’s Nora Whelan and Max Habib, owner of Qathra and Milk & Honey, for guidance about the neighborhood, and their favorite hangs and hidden gems. It’s tempting to tag the neighborhood as a suburb, thanks to the bevy of freestanding homes and tree-lined streets. Even the air feels a bit cleaner. “I don’t consider ‘suburb’ a dirty word,” says Whelan, who’s lived in the area for four years. “Ditmas Park is like everything you ever wanted in a perfect suburbia in terms of green space, breathtaking Victorian houses, and neighbors who will lend you a cup of sugar, but with the wealth of creative talent, amazing food and amenities, and easy transportation that the rest of crazy, urban NYC is proud to share.”
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02/07/14 9:06am


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Nora Whelan, of Ditmas Park Corner was kind enough to share this neighborhood walk with us. It’s a brief jaunt (once you read our guide to Ditmas Park you’ll have a whole list of other place to stroll to), but it definitely will make you fantasize about what it would be like to live in one of the neighborhood’s historic homes.

Get off the B/Q at Church on a warm day in May. Enjoy the surge of people you exit the station, and the blaring horns, and the music, and the vegetable markets down the street, and the different food smells. Head west, make a left onto Buckingham, go visit the Japanese house (131 Buckingham Road) that everyone rightfully goes crazy over, turn right at the end of the street (that’s your only option), make a momentary pit stop under one of our blooming cherry trees at some point, check out the house and Flatbush CommUNITY Garden on the southeast corner of Marlborough and Albemarle, and imagine what you could do with that two floor sun room.